Oscars: Venezuela Picks ‘The Liberator’ for Foreign Language Candidate

Edgar Ramirez as Simon Bolivar in 'The Liberator'

The $50 million epic period piece about Simon Bolivar stars Edgar Ramirez.

BUENOS AIRES – A selection of Venezuelan film industry professionals voted on Wednesday for Alberto Arvelo’s The Liberator to be the country’s submission to the Foreign Language Film category for the next Academy Awards, Venezuelan paper Ultimas Noticias reported.

The voting was reportedly divided between The Liberator and Mariana Rondon’s indie drama Bad Hair, winner of the Golden Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival last year.

An absolute rarity for local standards in terms of production value, The Liberator is a $50M co-production between Spain and Venezuela about military and political leader Simon Bolivar, who commanded an army that freed a great part of the region from Spanish colonialism back in the 19th century, and is regarded as a forefather of South America, together with Argentine Jose de San Martin.

The epic period piece stars Venezuela's most high-profile international actor, Edgar Ramirez (Carlos, Zero Dark Thirty) as Bolivar, with a score by the L.A. Philharmonic's music director, Gustavo Dudamel, and a script by Timothy J. Sexton, who co-wrote Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

The film’s unusually international crew also features Spanish cinematographer Xavi Gimenez (The MachinistAgora), production designer Paul D. Austerberry (Twilight Saga: Eclipse), costume designer Sonia Grande (Midnight in Paris) and editor Tariq Anwar (American Beauty, The King’s Speech).

The Liberator opened in Venezuela on July 24, selling more than 500,000 tickets to date. The film is scheduled for U.S. release on Oct. 3, and is being distributed by Cohen Media Group.